Gilroy strikes late to make history for the Cherries
Substitute Chloe Gilroy came off the bench to grab a dramatic late winner as AFC Bournemouth women reached the third round of the Adobe Women’s FA Cup for the first time in their history.
Gilroy, on as a 72nd-minute replacement for Olivia Venditto, netted deep in added time as Steve Cuss’s team came from behind to triumph 2-1 against Swindon Town at the County Ground.
Earlier, Gemma McGuinness had struck 13 minutes from time, her 13th goal of the season, to cancel out Annie Colston’s first-half penalty opener for the hosts.
Victory saw the Cherries make it £18,000 in prize money, with £35,000 up for grabs for the winners in the third round and £9,000 for losing teams.
Emily McGrogan was the first goalkeeper called into action, the Swindon stopper beating away McGuinness’s fierce effort in the fourth minute.
McGrogan then beat Gemma Hillier to the loose ball after Lucy Cooper’s low, driven cross had initially squirmed through her grasp.
Swindon fashioned their first shooting chance in the 11th minute, Cherries goalkeeper Daniela Kosińska saving comfortably after Grace Purnell had taken aim from just inside the 18-yard box.
A speculative effort from Abby Jones narrowly cleared the crossbar before Kosińska gathered Meg Jarvis’s strike from a tight angle.
Alisha Buckingham lifted her shot over the top after McGuinness’s cross had been cleared to her before Helen Bleazard’s header from Molly Barron-Clark’s free-kick drifted wide.
McGrogan dived full length to her right to grab Cooper’s shot midway through the first half before the Swindon goalkeeper just beat McGuinness to the ball after a clearance had been charged down.
McGuinness’s deep cross picked out Buckingham at the far post but she could not keep her shot down and saw it sail over the crossbar.
Referee Mark McGowan pointed to the spot after Purnell had gone to ground under McGuinness’s challenge, Colston drilling home the resultant penalty to make it 1-0 in the 37th minute.
As the Cherries looked for a quick reply, Amber Treweek cushioned an effort over the crossbar after Bleazard had flicked on Buckingham’s corner.
And the Robins were indebted to McGrogan for making a fine save from Cooper after the teenage striker had been put through by Bleazard’s inch-perfect pass.
An injury to Purnell at the end of the opening period led to a lengthy delay as she received treatment before she was eventually stretchered off.
The Cherries went close to restoring parity three minutes after the break when McGuinness arrived at the far post to meet Buckingham’s cross, only to see her effort hit the upright.
And after Treweek had burst into the hosts’ box after 55 minutes, she looked destined to draw the visitors level, only to drag her shot wide of the target.
Colston’s thunderous drive flashed past the post before Jones carved out an opening, the defender’s deflected shot scooped up by McGrogan.
Barron-Clark added her name to the list of Cherries players to try their luck, the midfielder firing narrowly wide from the edge of the box and then seeing another effort parried by McGrogan.
The Cherries appealed in vain for a penalty after Bleazard’s header from Barron-Clark’s 65th-minute corner had been blocked on the line by a defender but referee McGowen was unmoved.
Despite finally beating McGrogan, the Cherries were denied by the woodwork when Bleazard’s 70th-minute free-kick from 25 yards came crashing back off the crossbar.
But after Kosińska had saved well from Ellie Strippel, there was no reprieve for the Robins when McGuinness finished with accuracy into the bottom corner to draw the Cherries level on 77 minutes.
The 28-year-old winger found space on the right-hand side of the 18-yard box and gave McGrogan no chance as she registered her 13th goal of the season.
Kosińska made a top-drawer save to claw Helena Diaz-Butcher’s shot away from the top corner as Swindon almost won it four minutes from time.
A dramatic final twist saw Gilroy seal victory for the Cherries, the substitute turning sharply and applying a cool finish after Treweek’s pass from deep had picked her out in stoppage time.
Swindon Town: McGrogan, Viveash, Graham (Strippel, 66), Randall, Jarvis (Hull, 80), MacDonald, Colston, Diaz-Butcher, Purnell (Haynes, 45), Beck-Esson, Clifford.
Unused subs: Greenslade, Evans, Mugford, Haines.
Booked: Diaz-Butcher, MacDonald, Randall.
AFC Bournemouth: Kosińska, Venditto (Gilroy, 72), Bleazard, A Treweek, Jones, Hillier (Smith, 59), Barron-Clark, James, Buckingham (Gladwell, 59), Cooper, McGuinness.
Unused sub: Scadding (g/k).
Referee: Mark McGowan.
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